Monday, January 05, 2009

Books I Read in 2008: Part 1

I'm always on the lookout for a good book. I love seeing what other people are reading, so I thought this list of very brief reviews of the books I read in 2008 might be of interest to someone.

A Life Unburdened, by Richard Morris, is the personal account of a morbidly obese man who got into shape by ditching junk food and switching to traditionally-prepared food, a la Nourishing Traditions.

The Seaport Suspense series, by Kathy Herman, is made up of these titles: A Shred of Evidence, Eye of the Beholder, All Things Hidden, and Not By Chance. Themes of forgiveness and loving one's neighbor run through this series of whodunits. Quick and easy, yet convicting and faith-building, reads.

The Derby series, by Jamie Langston Turner, includes the following books: Suncatchers, Some Wildflower in My Heart, By the Light of a Thousand Stars, A Garden to Keep, and No Dark Valley. Quoting from a post I wrote last February, "Her quality of writing is a couple notches above most Christian's obvious that Turner is intelligent and well-read. Her characters are quirky, which to me, makes them enjoyable. Quite a few of her protagonists are bitter middle-aged women, which is a change from the typical naive 17-year-old female main characters readily found in the 'Christian fiction' genre. All of Turner's books I've read so far have been challenging and thought-provoking."

Angel Unaware is Dale Evans Rogers' (wife of Roy Rogers) sweet, touching memoir of the Rogers' 2 1/2 years with their daughter, Robin, who had Down's Syndrome.

I appreciate Ami McKay's positive portrayal of midwifery in The Birth House, but I wish she could have done it without resorting to excessive debauchery. Not recommended.

Most books for pregnant women have a little bit of information about a lot of different topics, but The Big Book of Birth is exclusively about, well, birth. Erica Lyon leans toward natural birth but is not condemning toward women who choose to or must use drugs or interventions. Lots of good information. A must-read for every pregnant woman (and her husband).

I liked the Scripture-based approach of examining what God thinks about children in Be Fruitful and Multiply, by Nancy Campbell. However (and I don't have the book in front of me now, so I can't reference specific passages), I seem to remember thinking that this book goes beyond what the Bible definitively requires of married couples. Read it, but also make sure to search out for yourself what the Bible does (and does not) say regarding family planning.

Biblical Womanhood in the Home, edited by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, a Christian author and radio host I greatly respect, is a highly encouraging compilation of essays by well-known Christian authors on God's design for women. I got a lot out of this book.

Dwelling Places, by Vinita Hampton Wright, is darker and creepier than I feel Christian fiction should be. The style of the author isn't bad, but there isn't a lot of redeeming value in this book.

Feminine Appeal, by Carolyn Mahaney, is a study of the seven feminine virtues in Titus 2: loving one's husband, loving one's children, self-control, purity, working at home, kindness, and submission. I found this book to be practical, encouraging, and Scripturally sound.

Part 2 coming soon!

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